New Report: Global Influencers in Diabetes

Technological advances in diabetes devices are seen to be device company led rather than offering a tailored people-centric approach according to Creative Medical Research's latest report. Findings also identified that the speed of product development is not adequate and that manufacturers should work with people with diabetes (PWD) to ensure devices are customisable and interoperable with others to enable greater success.

  • Engagement

Written to summarise the views of 6 top global influencers in the diabetes space, the findings highlighted that earlier stage engagement with PWD is required to fully reflect the fundamental needs of end users. It’s further felt that manufacturers are bringing bloggers in too late in the process. Brought in at launch they feel they are being used to “create a buzz” rather than offer constructive feedback to ensure the device meets the requirements of PWD.

  • Education

Recognising they themselves represent a very niche group of PWD where their knowledge is extensive, the bloggers appreciate the challenge for medical device companies is reaching the wider, potentially less engaged population to get a true representation of a product’s opportunities within the market. Yet despite this, they believe that more could be done. Highlighting that the diabetes online community (DOC) is considered a highly valued source of information for people with diabetes, participants of the focus group also felt that Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are no longer their go to for education around diabetes management.

  • Inter-operable and tailored solutions

Discussing their ideals for improved device features, interoperability across all their devices and therefore allowing the user choice came top of the bloggers priorities followed by the need for tailored solutions. Further findings centred on the DOC’s #languagematters and #wearenotwaiting campaigns with the report highlighting the pressures faced by the medical device industry to push innovation. Where bloggers have experienced HCPs who are supportive of the DIY movement, there is still a perceived element of fear amongst some HCPs around a PWD’s proactive alterations to their devices. The findings suggest that industry should take responsibility in supporting healthcare professionals to educate PWD more adequately to ensure hard to reach PWD are not slipping through the cracks of effective diabetes management.

  • The DIY movement

Tired of waiting for the technology to catch up to their requirements, PWD have taken the initiative to gain better outcomes through developing platforms, apps and cloud based solutions along with reverse-engineering existing products. The term #wearenotwaiting was coined to name a group of PWD who hacked their Dexcom CGM to stream data to any device, anywhere, in real-time. The innovation and ingenuity amongst the DOC has continued with Dana Lewis and her partner Scott Leibrand (#DIYPS – Do it yourself pancreas system) developing an open source homemade artificial pancreas which has been adopted by hundreds of PWD around the world. Where Dexcom recently made the unprecedented move to make their system open source, other med tech companies are now being called upon to do the same in order to allow individuals or other developers scope to increase interoperability of devices and data systems and therefore pave the way for better treatment outcomes.

  • CMR’s focus

Having worked in the field of Diabetes for the last 18 years, CMR has focused on insight from both healthcare professionals and patients to help shape manufacturers plans whether at product design stage or to hone their marketing messages. Patient centricity is increasingly important in the development of new devices and as the landscape of influencers changes to a more peer led reference point for not just people with diabetes but a multitude of therapy areas, we’re compelled to ensure our research projects follow this trend where appropriate.


To read the report, click the download button below.

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Click here to view the focus group in full